A free pattern and a cat picture or two (of course)

Several years ago, I wrote a pattern for a felted bookweight. When Limedragon declared this week the week of the book and started reviewing some book gadgets (including bookweights), I decided this would be a fun project to share.

Felted Bookweight
A bookweight is used to hold open recalcitrant books that refuse to stay at the page you want. I use my bookweight a lot on cookbooks and knitting books. This project is good for using up scraps of feltable wool. It also makes a quick, unique, and useful gift. If you want to learn how to use double-pointed needles, making a bookweight is like making a sock that has no heel or toe, or a mitten with no thumb. (The bookweight is the brightly colored blob to the right in the photo below.)

Gauge: Doesn’t matter, but your knitting should be loose.
Needles: A set of four DPNS or a very short circular (such as a plastic Clover 8″). 10.5s or 11s should work well for most worsted weight yarns.
Yarn: Feltable worsted weight yarn. Superwash wool and most white or cream non-superwash wools do not felt well. I used Noro Kureyon.

Cast on 31 st for a wide bookweight.

Knit first and last stitches together to join the round (30 st remain).

Distribute stitches evenly across three needles if using DPNs.

Knit circularly until piece measures 9-12″ (remember, it well felt more in length than width).

Bind off and weave in ends.

Run an old sock or part of an old t-shirt through the middle of the tube to keep it from felting shut.

Place the tube into a zippered pillowcase and zip shut. The pillowcase will protect your washer’s drain and motor from the felting wool.

Toss the pillowcase into the washer with a bit of detergent and an old pair of jeans, tennies, or a tennis ball. These items add friction and help the felting process. Extremely hot water will also help the felting process.

As the tube is felting, regularly check on it and reshape as needed.

When the tube is sufficiently felted, block and let dry.

“If it doesn’t turn out quite the way you want it, you can stuff it with catnip – makes a great cat toy!” -C

Pin one end of the bookweight and sew it shut tightly with yarn or embroidery floss. Run the ends of the yarn several inches down the inside of the tube, trying to catch some of the fabric without piercing it. After several inches, push needle and yarn to the outside of the tube. Cut the yarn close and tug slightly on the tube so the ends go back inside.

Fill the tube with small pebbles that have few sharp edges. I used “river pebbles” from a local garden store. Sew the open end shut as described above.

“Don’t mind that hole. I couldn’t resist – I had to see what was inside this thing. Besides, don’t you think I make a better bookweight?” -C

© 2002 by Chris. This pattern may be freely used in a non-commercial fashion. It may not be used as part of a commercial transaction, including as a “free” in-store giveaway, without my prior written permission.

45 thoughts on “A free pattern and a cat picture or two (of course)”

  1. Cats are amazingly perceptive creatures…you open a book or magazine at the table, you settle yourself down to read and relax…they hear your dead rhythmic breathing…next thing you know there is a cat sitting/laying on your reading material looking up at you with a face that says, “Oh, Were you reading that?…hmmm, too bad, now you’re not.”

    Cool bookweight…the red felted one…ok,ok, the glossy black one is pretty nifty too.

  2. I don’t need a bookweight .. I have Isis .. who .. like Chaos .. is a wonderful .. if hard to read around .. bookweight.

    Besides .. she’d just knock the thing off.

  3. I want to go into the business of cat toy designer…which I hypothesize as being the easiest job in the world. basically if it’s smallish and has some sort of fuzz or feather…they will play with it.

  4. So, is the bookweight used so you can read and knit at the same time? Is that your secret for always having such long reading lists and finishing so many projects ;o)

  5. What a great idea! Now to figure out how to make one without the ability to knit. Hm.

    Maybe if I stick two rocks in a sock and… I’ll get back to you on it later.

  6. Yes Chaos, you do make a better bookweight. The only problem with using you is that you’d probably get bored and leave, thus leaving the book unweighted.

    Chris, I love the pattern; I’m thinking I’m going to have to make one.

  7. Thanks for the idea! We all must have lots of scraps around to play with. What I need? That which I had that finally died, a camper’s headlamp with a red light setting. It was a cheapie from wal-mart, but it was great to read in bed with, and disturbed light sensitive dh much less than a regular head lamp. I just hate so much going into that store, so I keep putting off getting another.

  8. Cool. I need one of those. At least one.

    I love the tip about threading an old sock through the tube before felting. A friend made a purse of alpaca and when she felted it, it turned into a solid alpaca mass.

  9. Oooh, love the felted bookweight! Great idea!

    I like the black furry bookweight, too (I bet it purrs, too)–but my feline bookweights tend to lie exactly atop the part I’m trying to read. They keep the book open nice and flat, though…

  10. Found this thread about felted bookweights while doing more research about them to work on my site. I am making bookweights for librarians and others who might need them and am thinking about making a links list for those who want to make them rather than have me make them for them! Felting! What a cool idea!

    See my bookweights at http://www.heidihoerman.com/bookweight.html

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